Johannesburg - The Democratic Alliance and the Bekkersdal Concerned Residents Association laid criminal charges against the ANC on Tuesday, the party's Gauteng premier candidate Mmusi Maimane said.
“Criminal charges have been laid against the African National Congress and the alleged Bekkersdal shooter and local ANC leader Nelson Mdayi,” Maimane said.
On Thursday, an ANC delegation visiting Bekkersdal, west of Johannesburg, were pelted with stones during a door-to-door campaign ahead of the May 7 general election.
Thabang Wesi, leader of the Bekkersdal Concerned Residents Association, said residents saw ANC “bodyguards” with weapons in the township shooting at unarmed people, mainly school pupils.
The Star on Friday reported that ANC “bodyguards” fired live ammunition at residents after disrupting schooling.
The Citizen newspaper carried pictures of the episode. One was of Mdayi wearing an ANC bib with a gun behind his back.
Maimane on Tuesday said he had met the residents association to discuss the situation and it was decided that they would jointly lay criminal charges.
Two charges were laid, he said.
These were charges against the ANC in terms of section 9(2)(b) of the electoral code of conduct which forbade firearms at political events and charges against Mdayi in terms of section 84 of the Firearms Control Act.
“Residents believe we are being led by thugs and hooligans,” said Maimane.
“Corruption kills job creation and service delivery for communities who need it the most. Instead of cleaning up its act, (President Jacob) Zuma's ANC wants to rule by bullets.”
The ANC on Monday said disciplinary action would be taken against Mdayi.
“His action has undermined the ANC's integrity and (its) public image,” ANC Gauteng spokesman Nkenke Kekana said.
“The ANC does not approve of the use of weapons during election campaign activities from its members or from any political party, as this can only serve to intimidate or escalate tensions unnecessarily.”
The party's provincial integrity committee would look into the matter.